In the sixties, seventies, and eighties, some groups and organizations hyped meditation by telling people that they could “be in two places at the same time” and “learn how to fly.” Neither one is true of course.
However, more deceptive than outright untrue statements are exaggerated ideas, and unfortunately, there are still quite a few of those being floated around.
Here are three things that meditation cannot do for you.
1. Meditation Will Not Eliminate All Your Emotional Issues
While it is true that meditation can reduce anxiety and depression, it is not true that meditation will make all of your undesirable emotions disappear.
With a regular meditation practice, you are more likely to gain control over your responses to emotional ups and downs, but meditation will not give you the ability to be calm and collected all the time.
Emotions are a natural part of life. But then again, so is the meditative state, and with practice, meditation may help you deal more effectively with emotions.
On the flip side, meditation may aggravate some emotional issues and force you to deal with them (or stop meditating). While sitting in stillness, unresolved emotions may bubble up. That is why working with a psychologist or therapist often goes hand in hand with meditation.
For most people, meditation offers moments of peace—a calm in the storm so to speak—and this helps them deal more effectively with emotions in the long run. But, meditation will not magically erase or cure emotional issues.
2. Meditation Will Not Cure All Physical DiseasesAgain, although a regular meditation practice has been shown to reduce tension, improve sleep, and lower blood pressure (to name a few positives), it will not magically cure all physical disease, as some have claimed. Meditation can be an important part of a multifaceted approach to treating illness and improving health, but as a standalone practice, it is not a cure-all.
3. Meditation Will Not Make You Holy
Premature holiness is a term that I coined several years back. At the time I was describing myself.
Gaining more control over the mind, adhering to a regular practice, and growing on a personal level are all positive aspects of a regular meditative practice. However, there is a tendency to start thinking that the one should be “holy” (whatever that means) when one meditates. What follows is often a combination of pretense and judgment.
Pretense, in the sense that one is trying to make it look like one is more “holy” than he or she actually is (often trying to match other people’s stereotypical projections).
Judgment, in the sense that one contrasts him- or herself with others as somehow better than they are.
Deep meditation should, over time, bring with it a sense of humility and oneness, not a sense of superiority and falseness.
Understanding what meditation can and cannot do for you is important.
It manages expectations.
With all the positive results you can get with a regular meditation practice there is no need to hype or exaggerate the benefits.
Meditation is its own reward.
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